Joseph Alexander (Al) Consay
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A long-time Calgarian, and recent Kelowna resident, Al Consay passed peacefully in Kelowna B.C. on September 10, at the age of 91.
A farm boy from Blucher, Saskatchewan, Al graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1945 as an engineer. The same year he married his sweetheart, Zella Dodge, after which he and Zella made their home in Toronto for two years, where he worked for Massey Harris, designing farm machinery. They returned to Saskatchewan for a few years, while Al taught at the University in the winter and helped his father farm in the summer. A job offer in 1951 lured the family to Calgary where they lived for almost 60 years.
The family was one of the very first to build in the new district of Elboya, where Al was active with the community association, and a founding member of Riverview United Church. Al loved living in Calgary, but he remained a Saskatchewan boy at heart. Al and Zella moved to Kelowna in 2010 to be closer to family.
Al truly found his calling in engineering and loved his work. He was curious and always thinking of new and better ways to design a tool, machine or operating system, and throughout his career, he invented the new and improved the old through the various companies he started and ran. Among them were Canadian Oil Tool, Consay Engineering and Design, and Exacta Controls. He manufactured seismic drilling bits in the sixties and later mining equipment, a breathalyzer, a skate sharpening machine, battery chargers, and carwash controls among other things. He loved the creative challenges of "the shop" and didn't retire until he was in his eighties, even then going in "to help the boys" until he was 88.
In addition to an engineering challenge, Al loved music, golfing at Waskesiu and the Glencoe Club, nature, and time with his family.
Al was the epitome of a down-to-earth person. He appreciated his life and treated people well. He will be remembered especially for his good heart, his steadfast integrity, and his mischievous sense of humour. He added something very good to this world and touched the lives of many.
He is survived by Zella, his loving wife of 67 years, of Kelowna; daughters Lois (Larry Kolmatycki) of Edmonton, Coleen (Jerry Shimek) of Sherwood Park and Norma (John Laing) of Kelowna; 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family and dear friends.
A private family service is being held in Kelowna on Saturday. The family would like to thank the care workers at Orchard Manor in Kelowna, for their kindness towards Al, Zella and the family, and the good care they took of him, especially in his final days. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com, 250-860-7077.
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Sept. 13, 2012